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Spotsylvania to try teens as adults

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Two Spotsylvania County teenagers will be tried as adults on murder charges in the shooting death of a third teen.

Steven Foster, 17, and Douglas “Dougie” Hayes, 15, are both charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Judge Phillip Fines certified those charges Wednesday during a nearly two-hour preliminary hearing in Spotsylvania Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He sent the case to a grand jury, which will meet March 17 to consider indictments.

Two charges of breaking and entering and larceny were dropped.

The charges stem from the Dec. 7 shooting death of 18-year-old Jayson Marquis Syrkes, whose body was found along a wood line just behind his home on Mansfield Street in Spotsylvania.

According to testimony from detectives on the case, Foster and Hayes met at Hayes’ home in the River Heights Trailer Park and came up with a plan to shoot Syrkes.

Detective Frank Corona, who interviewed both teens, testified that Foster said Syrkes had told lies about him to Foster’s girlfriend and that he asked for her screen name on a social networking site. He also told the detective that someone had anonymously posted on the same site, “I’m going to blow up Steven.”

It was unclear in court if Foster or Hayes thought Syrkes posted the message, but Detective Twyla DeMoranville said Foster told her that he had to “get [Syrkes] before he got me.”

Corona said Hayes told him that Foster “just doesn’t like” Syrkes.

Investigators said they found text messages between the teens that day that indicated Foster and Hayes set up a meeting with Syrkes by offering to sell him a stolen Glock 9 mm for $100.

The detectives said when the teens met, Foster showed Syrkes a different gun. They said Foster told them he pulled out the clip, pushed it back in, then pulled the trigger.

Syrkes was struck in the face at close range and was dead by the time police arrived. Police said Syrkes had a $50 bill in his pocket.

According to court testimony, Hayes told police that he wiped down the gun and threw it over a fence near a white shed on Christopher Court.

DeMoranville said Foster told her, “It all happened so fast.”

Officers and tracking dogs searched the area, and Foster and Hayes were both apprehended within an hour.

Detective Corona said Foster and Hayes were suspects in some break-ins in the area of the shooting, and that the gun used in the shooting had been stolen from one of the burglarized homes.

Neither Hayes nor Foster made any statements in court, but they were supported by their parents.

Syrkes’ father declined to speak to reporters about the hearing, but a female family member said, “May they burn in hell.”

The two teens are being held in a juvenile detention center because of their ages.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419